I was going to write a big long post about your topic, but after reading the responses to your post, and to your poll, I am thinking, "What's the point?"
A lot of the Ron Paul supporters are plain pushing me away from this movement, and from politics in general. I got to watch their classless booing of a college professor trying to get them to think. I see them on this site being too stupid and stubborn to consider Gary Johnson. I see the conspiracy theory posts. I see them begging for censorship. I see them whining that Ron's picture has been removed. I make perfectly reasoned posts and get downvoted into oblivion. After this election cycle, I am done. People are too stupid and illogical for me to waste my time.
For a long time, I couldn't understand it. All these Ron Paul supporters not supporting liberty. All these "awakened" Ron Paul supporters acting like intolerant children. It just didn't make sense.
Then, it dawned on me.
Those supporters who say Ron Paul or none at all are actually NOT libertarians. They say they are, and they think they are, but they are not. I thought the same thing about the Tea Party: "Oh awesome, people who strongly want to cut the size of government and decrease taxes. Surely, they are intelligent and realize the ramifications of their desires." But, when I talked with Tea Party groups, I was utterly dismayed. They said that they wanted to shrink government and balance the budget. But, when asked, they wouldn't decrease the military, stop the wars, end entitlements, or make any significant cuts. In fact, they wanted the government to do more - only, more of what they wanted (like kicking out immigrants and ending welfare for blacks.) They still want government to block certain people's liberties.
What I am coming to realize about the "Liberty movement" is that many of the people are not libertarians, and don't really understand the broad scope of libertarianism. They see each issue independently of each other. Some of them are single issue voters. It's like the Paul movement picked up some of the Santorum supporters who think abortion is the only issue that is important. Somehow, the government monitoring pregnancy to ensure no one has an abortion is intelligent. Those supporters like Paul's ideas, and especially like his pandering stance on abortion but don't understand that actually blocking abortion would require pregnancy police. It would create another black market. Those people are not libertarians who want small government, but are normal big government advocates who just want government to do what they tell it to. They are probably more liberty minded than the tea party people since they are mostly against foreign aggression, but they are still not all the way there.
If there were a scale between Republican (10), and Libertarian (1), the Tea Party was a 9, and some of the current Paul Supporters are more like a 5. So, the libertarians (1s), Tea Partiers (9s), and Gary Johnson haters (5s or Unknown)are all fighting each other.
Because of that infighting, the liberty movement will not be able to put up any type of unified front against the duopoly. Everyone says liberty, but some mean it and some don't and this will be the source of the marginalization of the movement. The constitution party is somewhere between the republicans and libertarians, and will capture that vote.
Getting to your post, they all have different beliefs. When people are challenged with new beliefs, they either shun them (willful ignorance), or find a way to integrate them while disturbing their previous beliefs as little as possible. That's how all these conflicting principles come about. Showing people their contradictions is generally useless. You can't tell people what the moral high ground is - they need to decide it for themselves.
Do you promote liberty for the sake of these great things with support and a vote for Johnson?
Do you sabotage that potential with a vote for who you want to be president regardless of whether they can win or not?
(Since Johnson can't win either, this would be more clearly stated as:
Do you promote the growth of liberty for the sake of liberty itself by boosting the prominence of the libertarian party? (the primary principle here is liberty)
Or do you promote your one man while contributing zero measurable growth in the liberty movement in the eyes of the voting masses to boost your own sense of steadfastness? (the primary principle here is
perceived personal character)
Be well. I guess that ended up being long...
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
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